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Weekly Highlights


From: Gabrielle Boudreaux Bodin
Subject: Weekly Highlights, USGS National Wetlands Research Center, January 10, 2013  

Departmental/Bureau News - Current

  • Improving Fish Monitoring in the Mekong River Basin: USGS NWRC Deputy Director Matthew Andersen coauthored a USGS Open-File Report entitled The Mekong Fish Network: Expanding the Capacity of the People and Institutions of the Mekong River Basin to Share Information and Conduct Standardized Fisheries Monitoring. This report provides detailed documentation of a workshop held in February 2012 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The workshop brought together researchers from Lao PDR, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam to discuss ways fish research in the Mekong River Basin might be better conducted and coordinated. The document provides a detailed account of current research and fish sampling methods presented at the workshop. Studies of fish populations in the Mekong River Basin have steadily increased since about 1990, but this report describes a new effort to bring together researchers and managers in a collaborative framework that has not previously existed. (Matthew Andersen; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8501)

  • Impacts of Global Change on Coastal Wetlands: USGS Scientist Emeritus Karen McKee recently co-authored a book chapter entitled Response of Salt Marsh and Mangrove Wetlands to Changes in Atmospheric CO2, Climate, and Sea Level. The chapter was included in the book Global Change and the Function and Distribution of Wetlands edited by NWRC scientist Beth Middleton and published by Springer. McKee collaborated with colleagues from Australia to review how coastal plant communities respond to a range of global change stressors, including carbon dioxide (CO2), temperature, rainfall, and sea-level rise. The chapter synthesizes observed responses and theoretical predictions and discusses key processes controlling vegetation response in different geomorphological, hydrological, and climatic settings. This review not only summarizes potential and observed effects of global change on salt marsh and mangrove ecosystems, but identifies gaps in knowledge and areas for future research. (Karen McKee; Baton Rouge, La.; 225-978-7481)

  • Geographer to Present Feral Hog Research: USGS NWRC geographer Steve Hartley will give a presentation during the annual meeting of the Louisiana Association of Conservation Districts on January 10 in Baton Rouge. He will present “Geospatial Analysis of Habitat Use by ‘Judas Pigs’ in Louisiana and Mississippi.” NWRC researchers are using the “Judas pig” system of attaching GPS-satellite telemetry collars to select feral swine, an invasive species. Once a collar has been attached to an individual, usually a large boar or sow, it is released and returns to its group. The group’s movements and locations can then be tracked through the collared individual, the “Judas pig,” allowing researchers and managers to better target removal efforts. Because of detrimental impacts of feral hogs—including rooting, damaging agricultural lands, destroying the habitats of native animals, and spreading diseases and parasites—many public lands implement control programs on an annual basis. (Steve Hartley; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8543)

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